Horrible experience with FL-based Able Moving Co.

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jonbug
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Jun 27, 2007 1:20 pm
Location: Los Angeles

Horrible experience with FL-based Able Moving Co.

Postby jonbug » Wed Jun 27, 2007 2:08 pm

I had a really bad, cross-country moving experience with this company, and I’d like to share my story with the forum. This Largo or Clearwater, Florida based company also goes by several aliases, which makes them difficult to look up on this website and forum:
Able Moving Company
AA-Able Moving Company
A-AAA AAble Moving Company of Florida Inc.
www.ablemoves.com
The variety of company names or aliases should have set off a red flag in my mind when I was booking with them.

They are a booking agent for Stevens Worldwide Van Lines, which I understand has a good reputation in the business. It seems all my problems stem from Able or whatever they’re called.

In a nutshell:
-My delivery arrived several weeks after the estimated arrival date
-Some of my furniture was destroyed due to improper loading
-I was overcharged by more than $500 (eventually reimbursed after a Stevens Worldwide audit)
-None of my repeated calls to the driver, as well as the Able Moving Co. offices were returned
-The driver only contacted me when he was in town, ready to drop off my stuff
-No apologies, no explanations from Able Moving

And more than a month after all of my items arrived, I come home to find a large box of my belongings at my doorstep. Apparently, this container was delivered to the wrong address and left for several weeks before being sent on to me. I don’t know what happened. Again, no explanations, no apologies, no communication.

I also found out that the original driver who picked up all my stuff wasn’t certified and was in a probationary period. He was relegated to an “office job” because he was not up to the company’s clearly "rigorous" service standards (that's scary). He was the guy who supervised the shoddy packing and placement of my furniture on the truck.

All in all, this was a really bad experience for me. This company is one to avoid, in my opinion. Lousy service. Dishonest weighing and pricing (at least I was eventually reimbursed by Stevens). Terrible communication. Ridiculously slow. Missing items. Really unprofessional.

Diane
Posts: 15824
Joined: Tue Oct 07, 2003 12:18 am
Location: Los Angeles

Re: Horrible experience with FL-based Able Moving Co.

Postby Diane » Wed Jun 27, 2007 3:10 pm

Sorry to read this. They have 21 BBB complaints over the past 36 months, too high - http://www.bbbwestflorida.org/commonrep ... d=11002293

Can you elaborate on "dishonest weighing and pricing"? That sounds serious. Also, what was the size of your shipment? Was it too small for you to be eligible for a delay claim? The driver was a Stevens Worldwide Van Lines driver, right? He wasn't from Able, right? Was there a delay because the things weren't picked up promptly from Able, or what?

Finally, when did all this happen to you?
Diane
Check out domestic companies on this thread. Click here for a detailed, authoritative article on international moving.

jonbug
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Jun 27, 2007 1:20 pm
Location: Los Angeles

Re: Horrible experience with FL-based Able Moving Co.

Postby jonbug » Thu Jun 28, 2007 4:03 pm

Hi Diane,

Thanks for your message. I actually checked this company out on the BBB before I went with Able Moving. I figured since they had a "Satisfactory" rating and were listed with the BBB, then they were okay to work with.

The weighing and pricing issue only just came to light on my end. Based on what I described to Able, they estimated the weight would be around 2,000 pounds (pretty small move). I was told they'd give me an official weight once the truck was taken to a proper weigh station. I had to really push to get that final weight from Able Moving; it took a while. They finally responded saying that the estimate was right--2,000 pounds. So I just took their word for it.

Several months after the move, I get a letter and refund check from Stevens Worldwide (not Able Moving). They said that after doing an audit, they found the weight was around 1,500 and that I was owed money back. That was the refund check.

I thought I might be owed something for the delay. I complained, but never got any kind of refund from Able or Stevens. The driver seemed to think everyone was going to be getting partial refunds for the delay. He seemed particularly annoyed, because he was being penalized for some other crew's fault.

I'm not sure what exactly caused the delay. Again, no communication from Able Moving Co. They were great communicators right up until I gave them my business. After that . . . all downhill. The movers actually arrived on time; they were very quick to pick up all my stuff. The delay was in getting my stuff delivered in Los Angeles. It appeared that they were taking their sweet time, trying to make sure the truck was full to the brim before moving cross country.

Lastly, I'm not sure if the driver was with Stevens or Able or what the relationship is between the companies. My first driver (who was demoted) seemed to be working for Able Moving; although his business card said Stevens. The final driver who arrived in L.A. seemed to be with Stevens. The truck had Stevens Worldwide on it.

And all this occurred between April and now. My belongings were picked up in mid-April and delivered in late May. And this week, I received my last, missing container of items via FedEx ground.

Diane
Posts: 15824
Joined: Tue Oct 07, 2003 12:18 am
Location: Los Angeles

Re: Horrible experience with FL-based Able Moving Co.

Postby Diane » Fri Jun 29, 2007 6:48 pm

OK, I have a clearer picture of this now. It was actually not a scam but slipshod service and very poor communication.

It appears to me that your things were held for weeks in Able's warehouse waiting for a Stevens Van Lines driver to pick them up. That sometimes happens with very small loads like yours, especially with smaller van lines like Stevens. It is actually not illegal because all that moving companies are legally required to do is deliver things with "reasonable dispatch" (a phrase which is of course open to interpretation). You would not have been eligible for a delay claim in any case because your shipment was too small. I think the minimum is something like 4000 pounds. Incidentally, any money paid for a delay claim is not presented by the moving companies as a "refund" but as a reimbursement for hotel charges, half of meal expenses, and sometimes clothing and other essential items.

I don't know what happened with the weighing of the shipment but Able was obviously wrong (probably not dishonest but just careless) to tell you that it weighed 2000 pounds. However, having the whole move audited later by the van line and receiving a refund from the van line because of the lower weight is actually standard procedure. I know of only a few companies that base their charges on the actual weight of the shipment and charge the customer only that amount from the get-go (one is University Van Lines in NJ). Almost all companies wait for the van line to do an audit. At least you got some money back.

The van line driver contacting you only when he was in town rather than 24 hours or more before is actually very common, sad to say. There is no legal requirement that drivers give people a certain amount of advance notice of their arrival, as far as I know. (If I am wrong, somebody please correct me.) The van lines and moving companies also don't have to notify you that they have found a missing package and are sending it FedEx. (Probably they would argue that you should be grateful.)

Now having said all that - that what the agent and van line did was not actually illegal - you still obviously experienced a very bad move with nonexistent communication as well as damage to your things caused by the inexperienced driver who did the pickup for Able. I can see why Able has 21 BBB complaints and I wouldn't be surprised if Stevens eventually dropped them as an agent. I agree with your conclusion that most of the fault lay with Able and not with the van line.

I'll add this information to the Superlist linked to below my name. Thanks for sharing your experience to warn others.
Diane
Check out domestic companies on this thread. Click here for a detailed, authoritative article on international moving.

Auri
Posts: 152
Joined: Thu Feb 15, 2007 12:08 pm
Location: Chicago, IL

Re: Horrible experience with FL-based Able Moving Co.

Postby Auri » Sat Jun 30, 2007 9:21 am

As a note, though, Able may possible have been dishonest in their telling him it was 2,000 LBS. After all, the weight scale doesn't lie and the only way Stevens would have picked up on the correct weight is if there were weight tickets for the shipment.

So either the Stevens agent who picked the shipment up didn't both to tell Able anything....or Able did the usual that many companies do, which is "well it's not less than what we quote so we'll just tell him it's what we quoted him and just take the full amount of the estimate."
Industry Professional in Chicago

coolgabe
Posts: 18
Joined: Sat Jun 23, 2007 2:35 am
Location: continental US

Re: Horrible experience with FL-based Able Moving Co.

Postby coolgabe » Sat Jun 30, 2007 8:44 pm

Try to stay away from companies who have really stupid names :wink:

MusicMom
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Joined: Wed Feb 25, 2004 11:51 am
Location: DC Metro

Re: Horrible experience with FL-based Able Moving Co.

Postby MusicMom » Sun Jul 01, 2007 6:49 pm

Try to stay away from companies who have really stupid names

Huh?

coolgabe
Posts: 18
Joined: Sat Jun 23, 2007 2:35 am
Location: continental US

Re: Horrible experience with FL-based Able Moving Co.

Postby coolgabe » Sun Jul 01, 2007 9:20 pm

MusicMom wrote:
Try to stay away from companies who have really stupid names

Huh?


Which part of the sentence you didn't understand?

MusicMom
Posts: 19323
Joined: Wed Feb 25, 2004 11:51 am
Location: DC Metro

Re: Horrible experience with FL-based Able Moving Co.

Postby MusicMom » Mon Jul 02, 2007 7:28 am

I understand it fine, but what constitutes a "stupid name"?


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